Healthcare for our children
Baphumelele cares for many children at its Children’s Home, Clemens Cares for Kids project and at the Educare Centre & Grade R. Meeting their medical needs is an important part of the care provided at Baphumelele. A number of children are infected with HIV (including a number of babies who have combined infections of HIV and TB) which needs careful management, while other children have other chronic or acute illnesses.
All children who arrive at the Children’s Home and Respite Centre are assessed by the in-house medical team which includes a doctor and nurse – they visit on a part time basis and have a complete overview of each child or patient’s care. Caregivers and volunteers make sure that the children get to the local clinic, where they receive their immunisation injections, medicines and TB tablets.
Children with chronic illnesses have recently started visiting local treatment clinics rather than being transported to Cape Town for medical oversight. This initiative has been put in place to prevent overcrowding in city hospitals and to encourage the growth and development of local clinics. This system has proven successful thus far and the children are continuing to thrive.
The Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Cape Town caters to the most ill and most fragile children, usually referred by the Health Clinic. It is essential that someone stays with the sick child for the entire period of his/her hospitalisation. The opening of the new Khayelitsha district hospital this year has meant that certain outpatient clinics are being run locally which has made a tremendous difference to the amount of travel time for the children. In the future, the hope is that all children will be treated locally, and the knowledge gained and shared by Baphumelele’s medical staff is helping to ensure that local expertise grows all the time.